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Bowie 
by Jerry Hopkins.
Elm Tree, 275 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 241 11548 5
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Alias David Bowie 
by Peter Gillman and Leni Gillman.
Hodder, 511 pp., £16.95, September 1986, 0 340 36806 3
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... While American astronauts danced on the Moon, the BBC played ‘Ground control to Major Tom ...’ Jerry Hopkins, an American rock critic, thinks this was an odd song to choose for the occasion. ‘In a way, it didn’t make any sense. “Space Oddity” was about a loser, who drifted off into space, rather than complete his mission. It was as if the BBC ...

Blue Suede Studies

Hugh Barnes, 19 December 1985

Elvis and Me 
by Priscilla Beaulieu Presley and Sandra Harman.
Century, 320 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 7126 1131 2
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Are you lonesome tonight? 
by Alan Bleasdale.
Faber, 95 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 571 13732 6
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Elvis and Gladys 
by Elaine Dundy.
Weidenfeld, 353 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 9780297782100
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The Johnny Cash Discography 
by John Smith.
Greenwood, 203 pp., £29.95, May 1985, 0 313 24654 8
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Horse’s Neck 
by Pete Townshend.
Faber, 95 pp., £6.95, May 1985, 9780571138739
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Like Punk Never Happened 
by Dave Rimmer.
Faber, 191 pp., £4.95, October 1985, 0 571 13739 3
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Starlust: The Secret Fantasies of Fans 
by Fred Vermorel and Judy Vermorel.
Comet, 253 pp., £4.95, August 1985, 0 86379 004 6
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The Beatles 
by Hunter Davies.
Cape, 498 pp., £12.95, December 1985, 0 224 02837 5
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... The history of rock ’n’ roll focuses on the white triumvirate – Presley, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis, who have at different times heaped contumely on themselves – neglecting its roots in Jazz and the Blues, and a sibling relationship with Soul. Along the way, that history has appropriated the music on behalf of a white audience by perpetuating ...

Shapeshifter

Ian Penman: Elvis looks for meaning, 25 September 2014

Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died 
by Dylan Jones.
Duckworth, 307 pp., £16.99, July 2014, 978 0 7156 4856 8
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Elvis Presley: A Southern Life 
by Joel Williamson.
Oxford, 384 pp., £25, November 2014, 978 0 19 986317 4
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... his make-up (and, indeed, his make-up) distinguished him from contemporary rockabilly dudes like Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. He found an obvious joy in the staged act of seduction: the body does brazen, while the face remains convincingly bashful. Pamela Clarke Keogh’s Elvis: The Man. The Life. The Legend (2004) is mostly what you’d ...

Subject, Spectator, Phantom

J. Hoberman: The Strangest Personality Ever to Lead the Free World, 17 February 2005

Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief 
by Mark Feeney.
Chicago, 422 pp., £19.50, November 2004, 0 226 23968 3
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... material for such distinguished hams as Jason Robards, Rip Torn, Philip Baker Hall and Anthony Hopkins. Feeney contends that Nixon had a unique capacity among US presidents for constructing narratives around himself. He renames Nixon’s memoir, Six Crises, ‘Six Star Turns’, and notes that its subject ‘presents himself throughout as if he were an ...

Half-Fox

Seamus Perry: Ted Hughes, 29 August 2013

Poet and Critic: The Letters of Ted Hughes and Keith Sagar 
edited by Keith Sagar.
British Library, 340 pp., £25, May 2013, 978 0 7123 5862 0
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Ted and I: A Brother’s Memoir 
by Gerald Hughes.
Robson, 240 pp., £16.99, October 2012, 978 1 84954 389 7
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... poems is the ease with which they domesticate the wild for their own purposes. Hughes thought Hopkins’s ‘The Windhover’ no good, for instance, because the bird was so readily subservient to the theological programme Hopkins had devised for it: ‘the typical windhover of an Oxford don ignorant of the world ...
Secret Affairs: Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and Sumner Welles 
by Irwin Gellman.
Johns Hopkins, 499 pp., $29.95, April 1995, 0 8018 5083 5
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Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley 
edited by Geoffrey Ward.
Houghton Mifflin, 444 pp., $24.95, April 1995, 0 395 66080 7
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No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War Two 
by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Simon and Schuster, 759 pp., £18, June 1995, 0 671 64240 5
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The End of Reform 
by Alan Brinkley.
Knopf, 371 pp., $27.50, March 1995, 0 394 53573 1
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... in Europe and the desire to get the Soviet Union into the Pacific war, not because he or Harry Hopkins were tired and ill or because they lacked wise State Department counsel. The political significance of the Welles-Hull debacle lies, for Irving Gellman, in FDR’s ‘divisive management style’, his habit of under-cutting his aides by being unable to ...

The Candidates

Chris Lehmann: Scott, Rick, Ted, Marco and Jeb, 18 June 2015

... the least forgivable trespass against Garden State sensibilities, he has shamelessly buddied up to Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, hated divisional rival of the Jersey-based New York Giants. Abject, operatically self-defeating cronyism, in short, is the Christie philosophy of governance – and it’s eloquent testimony to the lack of plausibly ...

Mulishness

Paul Keegan: David Jones removes himself, 7 November 2019

David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet 
by Thomas Dilworth.
Vintage, 448 pp., £14.99, January 2019, 978 0 7847 0800 2
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Epoch and Artist Selected Writings 
by David Jones, edited by Harman Grisewood.
Faber, 320 pp., £18.99, April 2017, 978 0 571 33950 1
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‘The Dying Gaul’ and Other Writings 
by David Jones, edited by Harman Grisewood.
Faber, 240 pp., £17.99, April 2017, 978 0 571 33953 2
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Dai Greatcoat A Self-Portrait of David Jones in His Letters 
edited by René Hague.
Faber, 280 pp., £17.99, April 2017, 978 0 571 33952 5
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... and which Jones referred to as ‘juxtaposition’. The other influence Jones acknowledged was Hopkins (whose poetry was not published until 1918), and he inherited Hopkins’s ambition for poetry – current language ‘to any degree heightened and unlike itself’ – as an ambition for prose. It was war prose ...

The Israel Lobby

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: The Israel Lobby, 23 March 2006

... rankings’. The Lobby also includes prominent Christian evangelicals like Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson, as well as Dick Armey and Tom DeLay, former majority leaders in the House of Representatives, all of whom believe Israel’s rebirth is the fulfilment of biblical prophecy and support its expansionist agenda; to do ...

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